February 8, 2024: URGENT PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT
Toxoplamosis Exposure Warning Issued for Two Game Dinners Held at The American Legion in Mount Kisco on January 19 and 20
The Westchester County Department of Health is investigating two cases of toxoplasmosis, an infection with a parasite. Those sick and those exposed attended two game dinners held on Friday, January 19, and Saturday January 20, at the Moses Taylor Jr. American Legion Post in Mount Kisco.  
---The Health Department recommends that all individuals who ate food at, or ate leftovers from these game dinners contact their doctor about potential exposure to toxoplasmosis, an illness caused by a parasite.  
---The Health Department is also asking that anyone who is pregnant, immunosuppressed, experiencing visual changes or eye symptoms, or any other symptoms call the Health Department at 914-813-5159 during business hours and 914-813-5000 after hours.  
Toxoplasmosis is an illness that can cause birth defects or miscarriages in pregnant women, can be deadly for those with a weakened immune system, or result in prolonged visual deficits in those with eye symptoms.  A healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness, and most people do not require treatment. Some people with the parasite develop a flu-like illness that lasts a few weeks with symptoms that can include muscle aches, headache, fever with chills and sweats, tiredness, sore throat or swollen lymph nodes. Long-term effects, such as vision problems, are also possible.

Recalled Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches Due to Elevated Lead Levels
The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating reports of elevated blood lead levels in individuals with reported exposure to Apple Cinnamon Fruit Puree pouches manufactured in Ecuador and sold under WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks brands. View more information on lot codes and UPCs. View this short, but informative video that shows families how to keep their children safe from lead (English and Spanish).

Single-Use Foodware Law
Westchester County is reminding residents and business owners of its "Upon Request" single-use foodware law, which took effect on September 2, 2023. This legislation aims to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics by promoting a more mindful approach to their usage within food service establishments by limiting the use of single-use foodware products to only when specifically requested by the customer.

Food service establishments are required to prominently display this clearly legible sign (in Spanish and Chinese) informing customers that plastic utensils, condiments, and straws are available only upon request.

For more information, view the county's press release, webpage, and fact sheet (in Spanish and Chinese) on the law. 

FREE At-Home COVID-19 Tests Per Household Available
The federal government has relaunched its free at-home COVID-19 testing program. The no-cost tests will be delivered for free by the United States Postal Service. Visit COVIDtests.gov to place your order. Before You Throw Out "Expired" Tests: Check FDA's website to see if your COVID-19 tests' expiration dates have been extended. 

FREE At-Home COVID-19 Tests Available for Blind or Low Vision People
Home tests with enhanced accessibility for blind or low vision people are available through the federal government, while supplies last. Here's what you need to know:

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • Your order will include #12 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests with enhanced accessibility for blind or low vision people. COVIDTests.gov has more details about at-home tests, including extended shelf life and updated expiration dates)
  • Supplies of tests with enhanced accessibility are limited. Only order these tests if you do not have other options for using the standard COVID-19 tests
  • Tests require you to use a compatible, Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, as well as download and install an app from the App Store (for iOS) or Google Play (for Android)

COVID Vaccine Information 
Please be advised that we are no longer able to provide COVID vaccine to everyone interested in receiving it at our clinics. As a safety net provider, COVID vaccines are now only available to children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program and adults who are not insured or are underinsured through the Bridge Access Program at our clinics. If you meet this criteria, you can make an appointment at one of our vaccine clinics by calling (914) 995-5800. If you have health insurance, you are able to get a COVID vaccine at places where you would normally go to get vaccines, such as at pharmacies and medical provider offices. Use the Vaccine Finder Tool to schedule a COVID vaccine near you.

Long COVID Survey
The Westchester County Department of Health has launched a survey to better understand how Long COVID has impacted the health and well-being of community members. Survey responses will be used to advise the medical community and policymakers on the needs of Westchester County residents managing Long COVID. For more information email wccares-health@westchestercountyny.gov.

COVID-19 and Flu Resources
Vaccination Clinic Registration and Information (Ages 6 months and up)
Testing and Treatment Information
Quarantine and Isolation Guidance 
WCDH Coronavirus Updates (school resources, data and more)
Find your COVID-19 community levels (low, medium, or high), and prevention steps to take based on the latest CDC data.

COVID-19 Treatment is Available
Oral antiviral medications are available for treatment of COVID-19 and have been proven to decrease hospitalization for those that are at risk for severe disease. When given soon after a positive diagnosis, these antivirals also help fight infection and shorten recovery time. All treatments require a prescription and those who test COVID-19 positive should talk to their health care provider.

Westchester County residents who test positive and do not have a health care provider, regardless of income or health insurance coverage, are eligible to be evaluated for treatment by calling 888-TREAT-NY (888-873-2869) or completing an evaluation at the NYS COVID-19 ExpressCare Therapeutics Access website, which includes a telemedicine visit. The Hotline is available 24-hours per day, seven days a week and operated by experienced Health + Hospitals professionals who have the clinical training to prescribe treatment and referrals if needed.